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Educational series re-air amid lockdown

Trina Ibarle Orquiza



A simple social media post coupled with the recall of a memorable theme song from a vintage educational children’s show helped spark a massive clamor for its home network to re-air the series altogether during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

Television shows Sineskwela, Bayani and Hiraya Manawari, which have taught a generation of children from the 1990s to the early 2000s, have started re-airing on ABS-CBN on Saturday as a fitting means for children of a new generation to learn as classes have been suspended during the lockdown.

The three shows, which showcase science, heroism and values education, were lovingly missed by its original viewers as memories of fun and simple learning as well as picking up good values reverberated anew on social media airwaves.

Social media proddings

In an email interview with media network ABS-CBN, they said they mulled the re-airing following a social media post by Ivan Roblas, who works with the Department of Science and Technology, after he called on the network to re-air the shows.

“Dear ABS-CBN, maybe we can re-run your educational TV shows on free TV. The kids are just at home. One month of Sineskwela, Hiraya, Bayani will do them good,” Roblas wrote in his post on 15 March.

As the appeal gained traction among netizens, singer Jim Paredes shared the post on his Twitter account and caught the attention of the ABS-CBN Foundation’s monitoring team. Jenie Chan, head of ICOMM for the ABS-CBN Foundation, took the matter to the network’s top executives.

“I then asked management if we can pursue the re-airing of ETV (educational television shows). It was a good way for children at home to keep learning and be entertained during the lockdown,” Chan said.

The television network, which was working with a skeletal workforce, was also airing re-runs of its different programs as people have been looking for various ways to be entertained in the confines of their homes.

Musical recall

Parallel to this, musicians have started entertaining fellow locked-down citizens through social media performing their songs and compositions to a digital audience.

One of them was National Artist Ryan Cayabyab, who started his Facebook live shows on 18 March and sparked a massive donation campaign through Bayanihan Musikahan to aid affected families during the time of the lockdown.

On top of requests to perform a repertoire of his hit songs “Limang Dipang Tao,” “Tuwing Umuulan at Kapiling Ka” and “Kailan,” he also received multiple requests to play the theme song of Sineskwela, which he composed for the show many years ago.

Cayabyab performed the catchy theme song, not just once but twice, during his Facebook live appearances to the delight of many viewers who shared his performance online and also prodded on the network to re-air the show.

Viewers of all ages

Chan said they were pleasantly surprised to find people who clamored to watch the re-aired episodes were mostly adults.

“The main audience is elementary school pupils, but we were overwhelmed by the response of mid-20s and 30s who grew up with these shows and are now parents. Our artcard announcing the re-airing reached over 5 million people with 47 thousand shares and 30 thousand comments. That was amazing,” Chan said.

“A lot of people missed the show and know the benefit of these programs to kids,” she added.

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